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102-pound blue catfish caught in Virginia may be new state record

May 28, 2009 | 11:19 am

*UPDATE: The Virginia State Record Fish Committee has confirmed this fish as a new state record for blue catfish.

Tim Wilson, left, and Danny Ayers hauled in this mammoth blue catfish from the James River. The Virginia State Record Fish Committee is reviewing the application for certification as a state record. A 102-pound, 4-ounce blue catfish caught last week in Virginia may qualify as a new state record.

Tim Wilson was fishing with friend Danny Ayers on the James River south of Richmond when he caught the big cat on 30-pound test using cut shad as bait. The fish was so large it took both men to land it.

The  behemoth is the first freshwater fish over 100 pounds caught in Virginia.

The current blue catfish record in Virginia--95 pounds, 11 ounces--was caught on the same river in June 2006.

In comparison, the blue catfish record in California is 113 pounds, 5 ounces, landed at San Vicente Reservoir in July 2008; the all-tackle world record is a 124-pound lunker caught in the Mississippi River in May 2005.

The State Record Fish Committee of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is reviewing the certification and estimates it to be completed within the next two weeks.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Tim Wilson, left, and Danny Ayers hauled in this mammoth blue catfish from the James River. The Virginia State Record Fish Committee is reviewing the application for certification as a state record. Credit: Larry D. Scarborough, Jr./sevenphotographyonline@gmail.com